South Asia

Pakistan rounds up 800 migrants from Afghanistan in major clampdown

Pakistani police forces. File photo.

Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has conducted a crackdown on “illegal Afghan residents” in Islamabad, resulting in the arrest of 800 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan media reports.

Pakistan-based Tribune reported that the operation was carried out in various areas around the federal capital, including Bhara Kahu, Tarnol, Mehrabadian, Golra, and Shams Colony areas.

According to the report, approximately half of those detained were subsequently released after verifying their legal residency status in Pakistan.

Twenty-five are being held pending document verification and the remaining 375 who were not in possession of proper legal documentation, are expected to be deported.

The crackdown on people from Afghanistan began days after Pakistan’s cabinet made a decision to deport all undocumented migrants from Afghanistan.

According to the Tribune, sources have said about 400,000 people from Afghanistan have crossed into Pakistan illegally since the Taliban swept to power in August 2021.

The report added that an additional 700,000 Afghans were identified as residing in Pakistan without proper legal status.

Pakistan’s cabinet has authorized relevant authorities to facilitate the deportation of these 1.1 million migrants who do not have visas or other permits to live in Pakistan.

This crackdown comes amid ongoing tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly regarding the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Islamabad has expressed frustration over the Taliban’s reluctance to crack down on the TTP, leading to increased pressure on Afghan authorities.